I've been playing phone tag with San Diego coach Bill Grier the past 24 hours. But in a voicemail this afternoon he acknowledged he's got a "tough task" trying to win at UNLV without four key players, three of whom are suspended.
It's a shame, really.
San Diego is coming off a great season in which it beat UConn in the NCAA tournament, and the perfect way to keep the momentum going would be with a season-opening victory at UNLV. To be clear, it could still happen. But it won't be simple given that neither Gyno Pomare, De'Jon Jackson, Trumaine Johnson nor Clinton Houston will be in uniform.
Combined, those four guys averaged 28.5 points last season.
San Diego is better with them.
But the Toreros won't have them this afternoon, and for that Grier should be credited. I mean, how many coaches would suspend three key players for the opener, particularly an opener that could be huge on Selection Sunday? I'm not sure. But trust me when I tell you there are men who would've tried to figure out a way to "handle this internally." So Grier levying a relevant punishment is to be admired, although I'm confident UNLV's Wink Adams won't spend the game feeling sorry for him.